Obsession Over Six-Pack Abs Puts Swimmer in Unsafe Water

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    Jul 31, 2014 2:46 PM GMT
    DEAR ABBY: I'm a 21-year-old man who has been a successful swimmer in high school and now in college. Over the past few months, I have become obsessed with developing six-pack abs. I have never had much success with women, and I thought that looking like a movie star might finally get me noticed and make me feel good about myself.

    As a result, I have become obsessive about my diet. I have dropped 10 pounds, mostly muscle, and my performance in the pool has suffered. If I don't see perfect definition between every ab and don't exercise for at least 2 1/2 hours a day, I feel fat and guilty whenever I eat. I have awakened in the middle of the night worrying about what I'll eat the next day. I'm concerned for the future when my metabolism will inevitably slow down.

    I have begun to think that death is a better scenario than being fat, or feeling that way. I want to be able to enjoy eating again and get my life back. I don't want to tell my parents or friends for fear of seeming weak-minded. Where can I go for help? -- FEELING LOST IN NEW MEXICO

    DEAR FEELING LOST: Physical perfection is no guarantee that you'll find love. Liking yourself and accepting yourself for who you are is what attracts others.

    Although "looking like a movie star" can be an asset -- depending upon who the movie star is -- unless you are secure about who you are and what you have to offer, you can't maintain a healthy relationship. (If you don't believe me, look at the tabloids and start counting how many movie star romances resemble a game of musical chairs.)

    If you truly think that death might be preferable to being fat, then you are in trouble. You may have a serious eating disorder, one that could shorten your life. Most people who have an eating disorder need professional help to overcome it, so the place to go is to your student health center. Ask to speak with a mental health counselor about what you're doing and how you're feeling. It is important that you understand what has caused this so you can be successfully treated.

  • jjguy05

    Posts: 511

    Aug 01, 2014 4:08 AM GMT
    2.5 hours each day just for abs? And lies awake worrying what he'll eat the next day? Lost muscle? And expects results only within a few months? He definitely needs psychiatric help as Abby suggests, and obviously has no fucking clue about lifting and diet.

    Of course, this also looks like someone's idea of a joke. It just looks too fake.
  • jjguy05

    Posts: 511

    Aug 02, 2014 12:14 AM GMT
    Who knows what exactly he's doing and how he's eating, and what his misconceptions of human anatomy are.

    If he's a swimmer, I doubt he has much bodyfat. He probably just doesn't have a thick rectus abdominus. Some swimmers do, some don't. It's one of those things that's genetic, and you may have an impressive set of abs without doing any direct ab work. If he's not one of those genetically-lucky bastards, then he'll have to put in the work with resistance training, and eat big, and the 6-pack will come with time, just like any muscle. Problem is, he's expecting results in just a few months.

    Also, different activities can counteract each other. He competed as a swimmer in high school. That's great. But if he wants to pack on muscle, he may have to stop swimming...or at least tone it down. It's not a bad thing in any way...the article makes it seem as if not being able to swim as fast has been detrimental to his health and well-being. Complete bullshit. Any physical activity is healthy; switching from swimming to lifting isn't in any way a bad thing. But different activities will get you different superficial results. Does he want to brag about being able to swim faster than everyone else? Or build muscle? He's gonna have to choose one or the other.

    And he's also gonna have to do a lot of homework, because there's a lot to learn.
  • frogman89

    Posts: 418

    Aug 02, 2014 8:59 AM GMT
    Sport addiction is the males' equivalent to the females' anorexia.
    (95 % of anorectics are female; 95 % of sport addicts are male)

    I don't think this is fake. He has a serious eating disorder and body image disturbance.